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William Nicholson
Oct 2005
Nicholson�s latest offering, the first instalment of a new trilogy, took a while to get under my skin. The sleek prose at least made for an easy read, but I didn�t start to really care about the characters, or their respective quests, until quite a way into the action. The three young protagonists from different backgrounds are introduced separately to the reader, before their paths cross and they discover a mutual ambition. Motivated by different circumstances, they all long to become a Noma - a type of revered, mystical warrior - but must first prove they are worthy. The ensuing adventure sees the brave but na�ve young adults have their individual beliefs and ideals challenged and sometimes crushed as they come up against the harsh realities of the outside world.

The setting is fantasy, but the modern day metaphors are somewhat transparent � themes of suicide bombers, public execution, religious intolerance, blind faith and unjust social hierarchies are all explored. The balance of good and evil is more ambiguous however � the separate communities are each convinced of the supremacy their own beliefs, and the reader is invited to judge for themselves. If you can get past a slowish start and avoid getting bogged down by these potential moral dilemmas, you will find yourself immersed in a cracking fantasy adventure with well-painted and ultimately likeable characters.

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This page contains a single entry by Rowan Stanfield Miller published on November 7, 2005 1:16 PM.

Ithaka was the previous entry in this blog.

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